Lorentz Center - Life Sciences with Industry 2013 from 7 Oct 2013 through 11 Oct 2013
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    Life Sciences with Industry 2013
    from 7 Oct 2013 through 11 Oct 2013


Industries          DSM, KeyGene, PamGene, Philips

Participants       32 PhD students and postdocs (30 NL, 1 BE, 1 DE)

Dutch research policy is increasingly stressing coupling of academic research to industrial R&D. To be effective, mutual understanding between the two worlds is essential. This workshop aimed to contribute to such understanding by exposing young investigators in the life sciences in academia to application-oriented research challenges of Dutch industry. The workshop builds on the long-term positive experience with similar workshops in the fields of physics and of mathematics.


The students worked in four groups of eight participants, each tackling a specific challenge formulated by one of the four industrial partners. Each group was supported by a coach form academia and a senior scientist from the industry involved. During the workshop the groups mostly worked for themselves, doing research and discussing about tangible approaches and solutions of the problem they were confronted with. There were a few fixed points: (i) on Monday the representatives from industry introduced their problems and there was a brief introduction into the world of intellectual property, (ii) Wednesday morning each group presented a mid-term report that was discussed plenary, and (iii) on Friday the final reports were presented and discussed.


The students tackled the challenges for the four companies with remarkable vigour and creativity. Also, the senior scientists from industry were enthusiastic, both about the process and the outcome. The students confirmed that for many of them the workshop was very challenging and an eye opener; using science to solve practical problems from industry was a new experience.


The success of this first Life Sciences with Industry workshop has convinced the organisers to repeat the workshop in 2014, using the same format, and possibly make this a yearly event at the Lorentz Center.